So I got an email last week from a 15 year old girl named Logan who wanted to start a food blog. She sounded sufficiently crazy, keen and well-versed in the ways of the blogosphere; a perfect candidate for her own online forum. (And hey, is that a photo of her with Paula Deen?) She called it Teen Culinarian– cute, don’t you think? And she’s already doling out some good advice. Her second post tackles cranberry, orange scones with pecans, which I rook as as good an excuse as any to bake scones on a Sunday morning. You know, not for my sake, but as a personal favour to a friend. You know how it is. Splitting them open and dragging them across the block of butter because all the knives were in the dishwasher – I only do that for people I really like.
Of course I had no oranges and was out of pecans, so lemon-walnut it was. When I add any sort of citrus zest to scones I like to add it along with the butter, which I typically blitz into the flour in a food processor (not necessary, but keeps the butter cold by virtue of not being touched by warm hands). When dough is sticky like this, I pat it out into a circle on a baking sheet, cut it into wedges and then gently pull them apart before baking – that way you don’t gum up your cookie cutter.
adapted from Logan’s Cranberry-Orange Scones with Pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled
grated zest of a lemon
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cold milk
a handful each of dried cranberries and chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor), sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and zest and pulse in the food processor or mix with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers until well blended with pieces no bigger than the size of a pea.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Add to the flour/butter mixture and stir with a spatula until almost combined; add the cranberries and walnuts and stir just until you have a soft dough.
Pat out into a circle that is about 1″ thick on your baking sheet; if you like, brush the top with milk and/or sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut with a biscuit cutter or cut into wedges with a knife and pull each one apart slightly to allow them room to bake. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until pale golden.
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